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Author Topic: Eating Lunch
The Rabbit
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A discussion gone astray in another thread made me curious about this subject. What do hatrackers usually do for lunch? Please participate in this informal survey.

1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
  • a. eat lunch at home
  • b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school
  • c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment
  • d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar
  • e. eat at a company or school cafeteria
  • f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner)
  • g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant.
  • h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home.
  • i. other (please explain).

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

Please feel free to elaborate rather than just give numbers.

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Tatiana
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I usually work outside the home but the last 7 days I was home.

I ate each day something prepared at home.

At work I usually take food prepared at home to eat at work.

Sometimes I eat at Moe's or have Chinese food from local restaurants. I've found that I can meet my dietary restrictions at those places.

I have a vending machine habit (food, not drinks) that I struggle with. There's never any time that I need to eat any of that food in there. Almost all of it is strictly not what I should be eating. Nevertheless, I still eat it sometimes. Usually I try to stay with something only partly bad like maybe pretzels or salted peanuts. Sometimes I just go for something sweet like doughnut dipping sticks. I'm rather craven in this way since I can't seem to kick this habit altogether. [Smile] I keep struggling against it, though, and sometimes manage to do avoid it for months at a time.

I take food for a meal, plus a couple of snacks to work with me, and that helps me avoid eating stuff that's bad. I often take an apple and an avocado to have as snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. For lunch I'll usually have non-starchy vegetables heated up in the microwave, and perhaps some chickpeas (or other type bean) and brown rice.

Restaurant meals are perhaps once every 2 weeks. I plan to eat out never, but occasionally when I just feel too tired to cook or whatever, I eat out.

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AvidReader
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That sounds like a fun survey, Rabbit.

I live in the southeast US and go to work during the day. My lunch is definitely other. I go to the grocery store on Mondays and pick up food I can prepare in the break room.

Once a month or so I eat fast food for lunch while I'm out running errands. I've reached the point where I'd rather have some Tyson chicken and frozen veggies than a burger and fries.

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The Rabbit
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AvidReader, I'm curious what kind of stuff you buy that can be prepared in the break room. Is it microwavable preprepared stuff (dinners, hotpockets, burritos etc), soups, stuff from the deli or is your break room well enough equipped that you can cook a real meal more or less from scratch.
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Kama
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A discussion gone astray in another thread made me curious about this subject. What do hatrackers usually do for lunch? Please participate in this informal survey.

1. Luxembourg

2. Yes

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
a. eat lunch at home - 2
b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school - 0
c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment -0
d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar -0
e. eat at a company or school cafeteria - 5
f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner)- 0
g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. - 0
h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home.- 0
i. other (please explain).

4. yes

I live alone and I don't like cooking for myself. Besides, pretty much everyone here eats at the canteen.

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Christine
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I stay home. Live in the midwest. I make and eat lunch at home almost every day. Once or twice a month the family goes out when we're out shopping on a Saturday.

When we do, it is always a sit down restaurant. We rarely even make an exception on the road unless we have to. We hit a Wendy's last week for the first time in over a year and it cost our family of 4 $25. That's almost exactly how much we spend going to our favorite sit down restaurants where the food quality is better and the portion sizes are bigger.

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malanthrop
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I live in the southeast and work nights. I eat whatever my family had for dinner for lunch. Best lunches I've ever had [Smile] . Disclaimer...I've always been primarily a one meal a day person; on a normal shift that would be dinner. I could only eat breakfast if I woke up earlier, never feel like eating unless I've been awake for at least 2 hours. My pattern and circumstance could skew your results.
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scholarette
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I am in Texas and currently unemployed. I probably eat lunch at home 5 times a week. When I eat out, it is usually fast food and because I am already out doing something-like we got taco cabana last week because it is next door to the kid's hair salon and after the trauma of getting monster's hair cut, I was stressed and did not want to make anything. I don't think we ever eat a sit down restaurant for lunch. Last time was in May actually- car broke down and while waiting for the tow, the only place within walking distance was olive garden.

We usually eat pbj, ham, rice or mac and cheese. Generally we cook dinners at just the right size so no leftovers. My husband brings in pbj to work, as well as a bunch of snacks (crackers with cheese in them, nuts, beef jerky, some candy). We don't do vending machines ever. Skipping meals- I think I did once last week. Monster was at a babysitter and I didn't want to waste that time with something as mundane as eating. I usually get a sitter every other week and almost always skip lunch that day. But if the little one is around, I eat every meal.

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mr_porteiro_head
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1. Northwest USA
2. No
3 a 7
b 0
c 2
d 0
e 0
f 0
g 0
h 0
4. Yes.

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paigereader
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I live in ohio. Last week:
Mon- vending machine (we have one that has actual food not just junk)
Tue- Wendy's that I took home to eat
Wed.- left-overs at work
Thurs- no lunch
Fri- home to eat
Very seldom do I go to a sit down restaurant for lunch unless it is a work related.

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ladyday
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I live in Maryland and work during the day. I do the same thing as Avid Reader. We have a fridge, a microwave, and a toaster oven at my work. I buy a container of plain or vanilla yogurt and a pint of whatever berries are on sale. Sometimes I buy cottage cheese instead of yogurt. I buy a bag of salad greens. Sometimes I buy wraps and sometimes I'll just have a salad with various fixings - chicken, fake crab, nuts, berries, hard boiled eggs, cheese, and/or additional fresh veggies can all go in either one. Sometimes I'll bring in leftover meat from dinner to add to my salad. Once in a while I will pick up fresh chili or soup. I don't really mind eating pretty much the same thing every day, but I mix it up with different dressings and fillings.
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kmbboots
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I live in the midwest, work days (M-F) and rarely leave the office for lunch. I keep food in the fridge here that I can prepare for lunch or I will have food delivered.
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Mucus
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1. Canada
2. Yes
3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
a) 2
b) 3
c) 2 usually Chinese take-out from around campus
d) 0
e) 0
f) 0
g) 0
h) 0

4) Roughly

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sndrake
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1. Upstate NY (USA)

2. Yes.

3.a)2; b)4; c)1; d)0; e)0; f)0; g)0; h)0; i)

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The Pixiest
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1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

Silicon Valley.

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

In an office.

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you

* a. eat lunch at home

0

* b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school

0

* c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment

5

* d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar

0

* e. eat at a company or school cafeteria

0

* f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner)

2 (weekend days)

* g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant.

0

* h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home.

0

* i. other (please explain).
n/a

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

Yes.

Don't take the fast food angle wrong. It's perfectly easy to eat fast food and not get fat. A whopper jr with no cheese and mustard instead of mayo along with a side salad with no dressing and a (free!) cup of water is under 400 calories. In fact, I've lost 27lbs doing this every work day for lunch.

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scholarette
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Pixiest- on the fast food, I did the whopper jr, no mayo option for a while and did well on that. The problem is when you get the stuff they push more heavily. Some of the "fancy" burgers have over a thousand calories. Then add french fries and a milkshake and it is scary.
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mr_porteiro_head
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When I'm out and hungry, I'll often swing by Burger King and get a single Whopper Jr, which is usually enough to tide me over until I get home.
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maui babe
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1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

Hawaii

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

Yes

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
a. eat lunch at home Ė once, on Sunday
b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school Ė twice
c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment Ė twice
d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar - zero
e. eat at a company or school cafeteria Ė zero.
f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner) - zero
g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. - once
h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home. Ėonce
i. other (please explain).

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

Itís difficult to say. I recently moved to a new island and new job and Iím not sure exactly how my days are going to go. At my previous work place, I either brought a lunch or ate fast food. How frequently I brought vs. picking up a lunch varied on how organized I was and my internal motivation for eating healthy. Perhaps once a month or so, I would eat at a nicer restaurant with friends or have a potluck function at work.

My new workplace is much more social and in a large city with plenty of eating places available. In the 3Ĺ weeks since Iíve started, weíve had food brought in or gone out as a group 6-8 times already. Also, Iím in training now, so Iím in the office more. Once I get going on the job, Iíll be out in the field a lot of the time and Iím not sure how Iím going to handle lunch yet.

My eating habits tend to fluctuate. For many years, I was a stay at home mother with a large family, and I spent many hours planning and preparing healthy meals. I cooked almost completely from scratch and in large quantities. About 10 years ago, I was forced to start working outside the home, and at first I tried to maintain my previous level of meal preparation. I very quickly burnt out on that, and started using more packaged and prepared food. As my children grew up and left home, I cooked less and started eating more processed and/or ready to eat foods. Now, Iím officially an ďempty nesterĒ and am figuring out how to proceed from here.

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Zalmoxis
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1. Minnesota
2. Yes
3. a -- twice & b -- five times.
4. Yes

Edit to add: I missed the elaboration part.

I almost always bring lunch from home. I don't like sandwiches very much (at least not the kind that can easily be made at home and packed) so I always bring leftovers (either from dinners or I make a big pot of something for the week). In a pinch, I will pack an Indian entree (the kind that come in a silver pouch). I only eat in the cafeteria if I have no other options. And I've gone six weeks without doing so (and it's never more than 2-3 times a month).

[ July 27, 2009, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: Zalmoxis ]

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BlackBlade
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1. I live in Utah

2. Yes

3. a: 5 times. My wife and I buy groceries and I often eat that for lunch and dinner at home.

b: 0

c: 5 If we've run out of groceries, or if I do not have time to come home and eat lunch between my appointment based job, I eat out for lunch. On weekends we are much more likely to eat out.

d: 0 I don't enjoy junk foods from vending machines, however I do purchase 12 packs of soda from the grocery store and drink those, often when it's not even meal time so I imagine that counts.

e: 0

f: 1 on rare occasions if I am planning on going out to dinner, I'll eat a small lunch or even skip it entirely, so as to save money for eating out and so that my appetite is larger. It sounds contradictory, but portion sizes in the US are extremely high, I often cannot finish every morcel on my plate, so missing lunch helps me compensate.

g: 1 I actively try to avoid eating dinner at sit downs and prefer lunch as prices are often cheaper.

h: 0

4: Yes

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Traceria
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1. Where are you currently living?
Maryland

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?
Yes.

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
a. eat lunch at home - Twice, over the weekend.
b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school - Five times, though I do the final prep at work (add cheese and salad dressing to my salad). I cut and divvy up everything at home first. And if I have something to heat up, there are microwaves and a toaster oven available.
c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment - Not at all this past week, though I will go pick up lunch once a week on average.
d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar - Not at all.
e. eat at a company or school cafeteria - Just in my office.
f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner) - Never.
g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. - Not in the past week, but two weeks ago, once during the work week.
h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home. - Rarely.

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits? For the most part, yes.

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Raymond Arnold
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1. I currently live in Florida, soon to move back to New York

2. I usually am at school during the day.

I've eaten "lunch" at home maybe 3 times, but those we days when I didn't get up till 11 or so, so it was sorta breakfast too. In all cases the lunch in question was spaghetti.

The other 4 times I bought lunch at taco bell.

I also eat a lot of snack bars that I buy in bulk (used to be granola bars, recently it's switched to a more fig newton-y thing)

This is pretty representative of how I've eaten for most of the past year.

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ClaudiaTherese
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1. USA

2. Yes

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
a. eat lunch at home - 2
b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school - 3
c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment -0
d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar -0
e. eat at a company or school cafeteria - 0
f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner)- 0
g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. - 0
h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home.- 5 [I bring a midmorning snack for each workday, even the ones in which my workplace provides food]
i. other (please explain) - 2 - lunch provided by my business

4. yes

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Noemon
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1. Ohio
2. Yes
3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
  • a. 1
  • b. 5 I almost always cook on the weekends and bring in leftovers throughout the week. I'll freeze some of what I make in a given week so that I have a bit more variety in my lunches than I would if I just ate food item X until it were gone each week.
  • c. 0 Every once in a while (every several years or so) I'll crave fast food, and have it several times during the course of a week. When the desire passes I'm usually good for another 12 to 24 months.
  • d. 0 I haven't even seen a junk food vending machine in ages.
  • e. 0 Every now and then I'll forget to pack a lunch and, if the weather is bad, eat in the caffeteria. It's overpriced for what you get (and not all that tasty), though, so if it's decent out I'll go out.
  • f. 0 I virtually never do this. It's not uncommon for me to skip dinner, though.
  • g. 1
  • h. I always pack snacks for myself. Usually it's fruit, but sometimes I'll pack vegetables. I pretty much always have a dark chocolate bar on hand, and I eat a square or two of it daily. If colleagues bring in unhealthy crap--doughnuts and the like--it's pretty hard for me to resist indulging.

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

Pretty much. Some weeks I go out once or twice for lunch, but when I do it's always to a sit down place (usually Vietnamese, Thai, or Indian), but occasionally Lebanese or Chipotle).

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Tstorm
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1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

Northern Kansas

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

Yes

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
* a. eat lunch at home 3
* b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school 3
* c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment 0
* d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar 0
* e. eat at a company or school cafeteria 0
* f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner) 0
* g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. 1
* h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home. 0
* i. other (please explain). 0


4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?
Yes, for this time of year. The sit-down restaurant serves your meal in less than 10 minutes, though, so make of that what you will. I could easily have called that 'fast-food'.


Comments
I try to bring my lunch to work most days of the week. During the summer, especially on days when I bike to work, packing a lunch is the only way to go, for all practical purposes.

When the college is in session, the cafeteria is available, and I won't try to argue against the convenience of an all-you-can-eat buffet style lunch. I do, however, limit myself to eating only once or twice a week at the cafeteria. I can pack and enjoy higher-quality food than the cafeteria offers. (I used to have a 5 meal plan, but there were some, ahem, political issues that caused me to drop that. Terrific while it lasted, though.)

Once every so often, I'll go home for lunch. It's a small town, and I'm about a mile from work. My only arguments against this option is that it's a waste of gas and I usually feel rushed.

Honestly, my average for 'eating out' is about 2 times a week. If you count the cafeteria meals, when it's available, then perhaps 4 or 5 is more realistic.

I never just eat out of a vending machine (blech), bum food off my co-workers (they almost never pack a lunch), or skip lunch altogether. My co-workers almost always go home for lunch or get food at a local restaurant.

Edit to point out: I assumed you wanted to include the weekend, Rabbit. If you only want work days, subtract my 'eat at home meals'.

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rivka
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1. Los Angeles, CA, USA

2. Yes.

3. Instead of trying to recall what the last week was like in particular, I'll just answer this for the average week.

Generally, I'll eat lunch at home Sunday & Saturday; 2-3 days a week I'll eat something I brought from home; 0-1 day a week I'll have lunch from a restaurant (not really fast food) that a co-worker picks up; 1-2 day a week snack on stuff I keep at work; 1 day a week manage to skip lunch altogether.

I ignore our vending machines altogether. We have a microwave at work, and I keep quick-nuke options in the freezer (e.g. lasagna, eggplant Parmesan) but only remember about them occasionally.

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imogen
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
A discussion gone astray in another thread made me curious about this subject. What do hatrackers usually do for lunch? Please participate in this informal survey.

1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
  • a. eat lunch at home
  • b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school
  • c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment
  • d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar
  • e. eat at a company or school cafeteria
  • f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner)
  • g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant.
  • h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home.
  • i. other (please explain).

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

Please feel free to elaborate rather than just give numbers.

1. Australia

2. No - Just started back one afternoon a week.

3. (a) - 4
(g) - 2
(i) - 1

When I'm at home, I eat here. Usually leftovers, but sometimes sandwhiches/pasta/noodles. We often eat out at a sit down restaurant on the weekend - usually yum cha or the like, something cheap. I also had lunch on campus this week because I got in early before my teaching. The other is lunch at my Mum's house - because we were visting around lunchtime and she had food.

That's fairly typical. I've been trying to cut down my fast food (went as high as once a week - I'd prefer once a month).

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Mr. Y
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1. The Netherlands

2. Yes.

3. (a) - 2 | (b) - 4 | (f) - 1

4. Yes. Fairly typical. If I work a full day I have lunch at work. On Saturdays I have a weird schedule; the first meal (therefor technically breakfast) at about 10 a.m., then work, then maybe a quick bite around 4 p.m., then dinner at about 7 p.m.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
AvidReader, I'm curious what kind of stuff you buy that can be prepared in the break room. Is it microwavable preprepared stuff (dinners, hotpockets, burritos etc), soups, stuff from the deli or is your break room well enough equipped that you can cook a real meal more or less from scratch.

We've got a fridge, freezer, microwave, and blender to work with. While I do love a good hotpocket, I usually buy a bag of Tyson chicken (the patties are great, but I'm doing strips this time), a few bags of frozen veggies, and some Ramen noodles. If I only use half the powder, they don't make my fingers swell, and with some corn and peas, they're really tasty. I recently picked up some mini eggrolls and pizza rolls for a little variety. And I have to have a little something for dessert. The Dove tiramisu and bananas foster squares are my current favorite.

I also have some celery or carrots in the fridge to eat with hummus, though that's normally for snack time. And I have apples, bananas, or pears stashed under my desk for second breakfast. In a pinch, the Ramen doubles as a decent breakfast.

I used to get frozen dinners and vaccuum sealed meals, but they were higher in calories, didn't make me feel as good, and were more expensive. Switching to more fruits and veggies was the best thing I ever did for my cranky stomach. I thought all that stuff saying it was high in fiber would help, but it really just made things worse.

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SenojRetep
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1. Where are you currently living (country or region, no home addresses please)?

US Northeast

2. Do you generally work during the day outside your home?

Yes

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you
  • a. eat lunch at home = 0
  • b. prepare a lunch at home which you ate at work or school = 3
  • c. buy food or drinks at a fast food establishment = 1
  • d. buy junk food from a vending machine or similar = 0
  • e. eat at a company or school cafeteria = 0
  • f. skip lunch all together (eat nothing between breakfast and dinner) = 1
  • g. had lunch at a sit down restaurant. = 0
  • h. snacked on stuff you or your collegues brought from home. = 0
  • i. other (please explain). = 2

    On Friday I ate a lunch we prepared while camping, using food brought from home.

    On Sunday we ate lunch at a friend's house (potluck).

4. Would you say the last 7 days was more or less typical of your lunch time habits?

More or less. I had two vacation days: Thursday (fast food, on the way to the campground) and Friday (food at the campground) that would normally have been food eaten at work prepared at home. I also would generally have eaten Saturday lunch (no lunch this week; in a hurry to get home from camping) and Sunday lunch (friend's house) at home. So in a "normal" week my totals would have been:

a = 2
b = 5
c-i = 0

The lunch I take to work has been almost identical for the past 10 years: multi-grain crackers, baby carrots, piece of fruit (apples and oranges most commonly, cherries, grapes, clementines, pears on occasion), cold-cut sandwich (meat, usually ham but sometimes turkey or occasionally beef, cheese, lettuce with mayo and/or butter-spread on whole-grain bread) or sometimes PBJ, with a granola bar for dessert. Once in a while I will take leftovers, usually pasta of some sort.

I only eat out for lunch when I'm running errands, usually on Saturdays. My preferred fast-food meal, like Porter, is a Whopper Jr. But in my case I usually add a Strawberry milkshake and call it lunch (rather than just a tide-me-over).

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The Pixiest
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Pixiest- on the fast food, I did the whopper jr, no mayo option for a while and did well on that. The problem is when you get the stuff they push more heavily. Some of the "fancy" burgers have over a thousand calories. Then add french fries and a milkshake and it is scary.

NEVER get Fries. You might as well get another whopper jr for that many calories. Fill up on a garden salad with no dressing. You could eat that all day and not gain weight.

And drink a cup of water. Do you want to EAT your calories or Drink them? On a diet, Calories are Money. You only get so many so spend them wisely.

And don't let them push. It IS Burger King and you WILL get it YOUR way.

I know it looks really nice on the menu, but ask for nutrition information (they have to give it to you) so you can see what the impact on the scale will be. That Triple BBQ Bacon Whopper will look much less appealing then.

A nice alternative to the Whopper Jr is the Tender Grill Chicken Sandwich (No Mayo). It's only 100 calories more and larger and more filling. I do that one a lot too. (So much so that when the woman at the drive through heard my voice and my request for a "tender grill..." she filled out the rest of my order without waiting for me to finish it.)

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Tstorm
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Heh. Well, since we only have a couple of actual 'sit down' restaurants in this town, I do most of my 'eating out' at fast food restaurants. I was doing pretty good this summer, until Taco Johns unveiled their crunchy chicken potato burrito. I'm enjoying them immensely, but only once every week or so.
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T:man
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1. Northeast IL

2. Yeah

3. In the last 7 days how many times did you

* a. 1
* b. 0
* c. 0
* d. 1
* e. 0
* f. 5
* g. 0
* h. 0
* i. 0

4. Yeah, I normally do not eat lunch.

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